Meet Ankiti Bose, the suspended CEO of Zilingo who founded the firm at 23

Apr 13, 2022

By: Kritti Bhalla

Zilingo suspends Ankiti Bose

Singapore-based business-to-business (B2B) fashion ecommerce firm, Zilingo, has suspended its Indian founder and chief executive Ankiti Bose after alleged discrepancies in the company’s accounts.

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The company was about to be a unicorn

The discrepancies were discovered during a due diligence process for a new funding round, sources aware of the matter told Bloomberg. Zilingo was in advanced talks to raise $150-200 million in fresh funding rounds, at a potential valuation of $1.2 billion, marking its entry into the unicorn club.

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Bose calls it a ‘witch-hunt’

Media reports have also revealed that Bose has disputed these allegations and contested her suspension as well. She has alleged that the company’s actions are a ‘witch-hunt’ that was triggered by harassment complaints she raised against an investor in the company.

Credit: Economic-Times

Bose started the company in 2015

Ankiti Bose has been running Zilingo since 2015 and has been featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list in 2018 as well as in Fortune’s 40 Under 40. She was also featured in Bloomberg 50 in 2019 and Singapore 100 Women in Tech List in 2020.

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She completed her education in India

Bose completed her schooling from Cambridge School Kandivali, Mumbai. She then studied mathematics and economics at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai.

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She worked as an investment analyst too

She started her career working at McKinsey & Company between 2012 and 2014, after which she joined investment firm Sequoia Capital in Bengaluru in 2014.

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Bose came up with Zilingo on a trip to Bangkok

Bose got the idea to start Zilingo while she was on a trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok. She recognised that most of these retailers in that market were not trained in financing, scaling-up, website design and procurement. She also realised that these local players were not fit to compete with larger global players.

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Chatuchak Weekend Market led to this discovery

“With more than 15,000 stalls and some 11,500 independent merchants, it is the largest weekend market in the world. I was like ‘wow, this stuff should be online!’. But they just couldn’t sell online, they didn’t know how to. That was the inception,” Bose told CNBC in 2019.

Credit: TravelManagers

She was only 23 when Zilingo started

At the age of 23, Bose decided to launch Zilingo along with Dhruv Kapoor to solve these issues. She left her position as an investment analyst at Sequoia Capital to launch her own company in 2015 and moved to Singapore a year later.

Credit: Zilingo

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